top of page

Why won't the FAFSA open on Oct. 1 this year?

Marie Deary

Oct 2, 2023

Why won't the FAFSA open on Oct. 1 this year?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form that students must complete to apply for federal financial aid. It typically opens on October 1 each year, but for the 2024-25 school year, the FAFSA will not open until December.

There are two main reasons for the delay. First, the U.S. Department of Education is making updates to the FAFSA to make it easier for students and families to complete. These updates include:

  • Reducing the number of questions on the form

  • Simplifying the language of the form

  • Making it easier to transfer data from the IRS to the FAFSA

Second, the Department of Education is working to ensure that the FAFSA is aligned with other changes to the federal financial aid system, such as the expansion of the Pell Grant program and the introduction of a new income-driven repayment plan.

The delay in the opening of the FAFSA is frustrating for many students and families, but it is important to note that there is still plenty of time to apply for financial aid. The deadline for submitting the FAFSA for the 2024-25 school year is June 30, 2025.

In the meantime, students and families can start preparing for the FAFSA by gathering their financial documentation. This includes:

  • Tax returns

  • W-2 forms

  • Bank statements

  • Investment statements

Students and families can also visit the FAFSA website for more information about the application process and the types of financial aid available.

Here are some tips for students and families who are preparing for the FAFSA:

  • Start early. The earlier you start preparing for the FAFSA, the less stressed you will be when it opens.

  • Gather your financial documentation. You will need your tax returns, W-2 forms, bank statements, and investment statements to complete the FAFSA.

  • Create an FSA ID. An FSA ID is a username and password that you will use to access the FAFSA website. You can create an FSA ID at

  • Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible. The earlier you submit the FAFSA, the more likely you are to receive the full amount of financial aid for which you are eligible.

If you have any questions about the FAFSA, you can contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

bottom of page